Once upon a time, I used to work for a real douchebag. If there were a competition for the title of World's Worst Boss, that stinker would take it. I mean it.
I was fresh out of high school, and this was my first "real" job. It was the post of a secretary which entailed some simple administrative tasks like filing, answering phone calls, and making coffee.
It didn't take me long to figure out that my boss was a crook. I was besieged with phone calls from angry people to whom he owed money. I was instructed to say he's abroad every time. When an important client came for a visit, I was requested to put on a show to make them believe that more people than the three or four of us worked in the office. I was made to "dress-up" empty desks like active work spaces, with landline phones and masses of papers.
This propensity of cheating people was not limited to outsiders. The salary we settled on was ridiculous in proportion to the number of hours I put it, but somehow, at the end of the month the paycheck showed an even lower number, and he "had no idea how it happened".
If that isn't enough, my boss was an arrogant, presumptuous, ill-tempered bully. He drank twenty cups of coffee a day, and was particular about always wanting to drink from the same cup, which I likewise had to wash twenty times a day. He yelled at me when I dared to serve him coffee in a different cup. He yelled at me when I didn't answer the phone fast enough. He didn't have the basic decency to maintain a tidy working space. He was a chain smoker and his ashtray was always overflowing.
To top it off, this disgusting blown-up fart refused to step into the elevator together with the cleaning lady, claiming that "she stinks". He stank himself - like a million week-old stale cigarettes. By the way, the cleaning lady came to ask about her payment again and again, too. He swindled that poor woman who was working for a minimum wage and had a family to feed.
You will be glad to know that I left his office at the end of two months, never to see or hear from this ugly swine again. He had given me a lifelong acute aversion to dishonest crooks who abuse their authority.
While my former boss was a humongous cowpie, however, I sometimes have to stop and wonder if I'm being a much better employer to myself. As a freelancer, and thus my own boss, am I giving myself fair working conditions, a fair wage, and fair prospects? With no one to breathe down our necks, it's easy to loaf on Pinterest... but equally easy to succumb to burnout.
So fellow indie authors, just a reminder: put in the work, but don't burn yourself out. Take that walk. Have that cup of tea. Unplug from social media. Catch the moment when you are just spinning your wheels, and take a break. Cuddle your cat. Do some knitting.
This is a marathon. Be good to yourself to keep your productivity for the long term.